Much of the nation is talking about President Obama’s faith. Recent polls report that nearly 20% of Americans believe the President is actually a follower of the Islamic faith. While I do not believe the President is a Muslim, I can say with some assurance that his Christian faith is not like mine. Perhaps this explains why so many are having a difficult time discerning the President’s beliefs. The following are excerpts from an interview with the President conducted by Cathleen Falsani:
Do you believe in sin?
What is sin?
Being out of alignment with my values.
I just find this strange and find it certainly to be an unbiblical way to define sin. Isn’t sin being out of alignment with God’s values and not my own?
What happens if you have sin in your life?
I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.
Here is another example of how given the chance to speak clearly about his Christian faith, President Obama answers with a vague statement. Why not use this question to speak about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how when a sinner repents and places his trust in Jesus, his sins are forgiven?
The heaven question he refers to previously is another opportunity for the President to speak clearly on the reality of life after death, but his answer is filled with so much uncertainty.
Do you believe in heaven?
Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?
A place spiritually you go to after you die?
What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.
When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.
It is quite clear that the President does not ascribe to Christianity in the biblical or orthodox sense. His view seems more closely aligned with liberal Christianity, where the authority of the Bible is rejected in many ways, and one picks and retains the parts he likes.
Where do you move forward with that?
This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.
You don’t believe that?
I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.
I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity.
That’s just not part of my religious makeup.
At some level Christians are called to evangelize? It would appear to me that the fundamental mission of the Christian is to make disciples of all nations, and this necessitates evangelism. Additionally, his view of the necessity of faith in Jesus Christ (or I might say, the lack of faith) absolutely kills evangelism. If people do not need to hear the gospel in order to be reconciled to God, then why go tell anyone about Jesus because so many end up rejecting him.
Why are people having a hard time understanding his “Christian” beliefs? I think it is because his “Christian” beliefs are not solidly rooted in whole counsel of God’s word written in the Bible.
HT: Denny Burk